1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
a convincing account of how easy it all was to get caught up,
This review is from: The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs (Paperback)
I was bought this book as a present whilst having shunned it on the grounds of someone making a lot of money (presumably?) out of a book that tells the story of how he (Hamilton) made millions out of cheating in cycling. But having been given a copy I thought I may as well read it. I have to confess that on the whole I found the book has changed my view of the character of the many cyclists who got caught up in the doping scandal that rocked cycling in the era dominated by the now disgraced Lance Armstrong. I can now see how easy and apparently 'normal' it was (is?) to improve your performance by taking banned substances - and that if you didn't your career was ended.
My only real issue with Hamilton presenting himself as the victim in all this (which I am for the most part now convinced he is, along with all the other cyclists including Armstrong), was that having been caught and served a 2 year ban for doping, he went straight back into the same of old tricks and won an Olympic gold medal on the back of it.
Hamilton's difficulties about living with the secrecy and guilt are very well portrayed and I felt this was largely a well balanced and credible account.
Armstrong, as you might expect, does not come out of this book with much to his credit. His drug taking is perhaps no worse than anyone else's, but his use of intimidation, bribery, bullying and his own massive influence made me feel both sad and cheated by the fact that I had once (for a long time) believed him to be innocent.
Personally I think this book justifies the hype that surrounds it and am very glad I got round to reading it.
I just hope like hell that Wiggins et al at Team Sky really are the clean riders they claim to be.